Posted on September 11, 2012 AT 03:16pm
Photo: Flickr user, insanitydriven
This year was the first time that the man, the myth, the legend, John Barrowman, has ever attended Dragon*Con. I’d safely say that he’s been accepted into the fold. Barrowman was a part of three panels during the duration of the weekend; the rest of which he spent on the Walk of Fame greeting fans in his seemingly never ending line.
Upon walking onstage at 10 a.m. on Friday for his panel with Torchwood co-star, Kai Owen, Barrowman mooned the entire crowd. I am very proud to say that I did not look away. He sat down and then the openly gay man implored the entire audience to not eat at Chik-fil-a. Barrowman is gay and has been with his partner, Scott Gill, for close to eighteen years now. They were united via civil partnership in December of 2006. Gill joined Barrowman onstage for Saturday’s panel. The pair even showed off their superhero underwear (Superman for Barrowman and Batman for Gill, in case you were wondering).
The Friday panel launched into a Q&A session obviously centered on Torchwood and Doctor Who. Subjects included the Captain Jack/Rhys relationship, the differences between working with Christopher Eccleston vice working with David Tennant, and the Doctor Who 50th anniversary. Barrowman has not yet received a call about being a part of the 50th anniversary for the longest running science fiction show. He said, “Me, personally, as John Barrowman, the fan, I would be exceptionally disappointed if I was not involved. That’s me, but as the actor, I understand that other things come about.”
When asked how the deaths of their fellow actors’ characters affected them, both Barrowman and Owen expressed that the cast is a family. They discussed how the deaths of each character gutted them as much as it did the fans. Barrowman described how Burn Gorman (who played Owen Harper) and Naoko Mori (who played Toshiko Sato) told the rest of the cast about their characters’ demises. “We walked from our set (the Hub) and we walked to get from the Hub to outside. You had to walk past the TARDIS. It was right outside the front door of the TARDIS where they told us that their characters were going to be dying in the next episode. We all just stood and we all cried because we were family.” The moments that are seen on screen when Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) are cataloging of the personal belongings of those characters show their real emotions. In the end, the actors understood that they were a part of a drama and that drastic things needed to happen in order for the show to progress.
Barrowman touched on his new projects. He is set to play the lead of role of Jack in the British pantomime theatre production of Jack and the Beanstalk. When asked why he’d do a show like Jack and the Beanstalk, he replied that in a recession any job is a good job, but that pantomime is a British tradition and a way to introduce the youngest generation to theatre. Barrowman has two books coming out that he co-authored with his sister, Carole. One book, Hollow Earth, is a Young Adult fantasy novel and the other is a Torchwood story set after the events of Miracle Day entitled Exodus Code. The latter novel is written in a way that it can easily be converted from text to screen for an added Torchwood adventure.
Barrowman also discussed the recent reveal of his casting on CW’s new show, Arrow. The DC Comics inspired show takes the story of Green Arrow to the small screen, basically bringing the whole DC Comics universe to the producers’ fingertips. So far, the only thing known about Barrowman’s character was that he was male and has been known as the “well-dressed man”. Although, during Saturday’s panel, Barrowman admitted that he loved doing Desperate Housewives because he got to play a bad guy and that is why he loves his new character on Arrow. Thus confirming the rumors that he is to play a villain. The still unnamed character will not be introduced until later on in the first season.
Barrowman received the phone call out of the blue and described accepting his role on Arrow as a no-brainer. He is a self-proclaimed “fan boy at heart”. When asked who they would dress up as for a Con, Kai Owen expressed that he’d love to dress up as Captain Jack after noting the questioner’s costume. Barrowman says he’d dress up as either Captain America or Iron Man, and that he just might have a Spiderman outfit at home.
For a shared panel, the spotlight was much more on Barrowman than his Torchwood co-star, Kai Owen. I only seemed to add to that segregation with my question which concluded the panel. I have recently jumped aboard the Doctor Who and Torchwood train, and have only just found out who exactly John Barrowman was in the past few months. Since then, I have become a major fan of not just his role as Captain Jack Harkness, but of the man, himself. Recently, I have discovered John’s musical releases and I have sworn to myself that I will see him perform live at some point in my life. My question was to ask him when his next album was due to come out.
As I felt bad that Owen wasn’t getting any questions, I made sure to say hi to him, but then informed him that my question was for Barrowman. This sparked an impromptu make out session between the two actors for which I received an abundant number of thank you’s for instigating. Barrowman, finally, did answer my question, but he pretty much verified what I already knew. He doesn’t know when his next album is coming out do to the recession. If the record companies don’t want to put one out with him, then he will definitely put one out himself.
John Barrowman enjoys how diverse his career is and will not say whether he prefers stage or screen. He feels that once he states a preference that calls will only be received for that preference. He credits the fans for letting him pursue his various endeavors. In the end, John Barrowman is more than just Captain Jack Harkness, although the character will forever be a part of him. If I wasn’t a fan of the man named John Barrowman before Dragon*Con 2012, I definitely am now.
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